Friday, July 22, 2011

Caring Is Cool!

So, remember when I said that writing forums can sometimes annoy me? Here's an entirely different reason, and one that seems to be specific to indie author forums.

Someone posted a link to this blog post by a writer named Michelle Davidson Argyle, and mentioned that she liked it. The post is about how Michelle thought that publishing a book traditionally would make her happy. She found that it didn't, and that as a writer, you have to enjoy the process and whatnot. Because of all the struggle related with getting published, all the rejection and loneliness, a lot of writers place a big prize at the end and believe it will make them happy. It's what allows them to push through. I constantly have to adjust my mentality to live more in the moment in regards to my writing, so I think it's a very cool post.

But these other writers proceed to try to out-pragmatic each other. They talked about how of course publishing won't make you happy. One talked about how he thought it would make him money, he couldn't believe anyone would think it would make them happy. Basically people ragged on this woman for being sensitive and a dreamer.

What bullshit.

I admit that there are writers who genuinely feel this way. These writers are also known as "total fucking idiots," because if you're in writing just to make money, you're a moron. Any writer not starting from a position of fame who is smart enough to write a book good enough to make a lot of money could have  made more in a much more reliable fashion, like finance.

But I don't think that these writers all really feel this way. I think that people are trying to act tough. I think that people try to act too cool for school. Admitting that you care isn't cool. The battle of who can care less is one battle that can be won without any talent or risk. And if you aren't having good sales or getting good story publications, acting too cool to care gives you armor.

Pragmatism is something the world forces on you. It means relenting to reality and giving up on what you want. IT IS NOT ADMIRABLE, though it is sometimes necessary. And I prefer to never associate with people who are pragmatic by nature, not by circumstance.

So feel free to care and dream. I won't make fun of you. 

Coral Moore (yes, at least 2 Corals read this blog, necessitating the surname distinction) sent me a link to the new official Pulling Teeth cupcake:
Awesome! She found it at the kickbooty Cupcake Blog, which I would visit more often but it always makes me hungry (even [especially?]when the sweets are spattered in blood).


  1. Good post. You're right of course and I have little to add. People who write for money are idiots, and the kind who think there are rules to writing, in the same way as their are in stock-market investing or whatever else they'd secretly rather be doing.

    Obviously trying to sell your books as well as you can after they're written is fine, but the key word is *after*. Maybe I'm idealistic in my own way, but I believe the best way to sell books is to write the best one that you, personally, can.

  2. We're just a couple of wide-eyed romantics, Mr. Everington. A little tender in the heart. A little tender in the head.

  3. Hmm. I'm not sure I can sit idly by and listen to you bag on pragmatists. My husband is one of the most pragmatic people I've ever know. That has its good and its bad points. Good: There's no one I'd rather be with in the pending zombiepocalypse. If someone can find a way to survive, it's him. Bad: Sometimes he's a little too "real" for the dreamer in me.

    I do think you're right though, a pragmatic author is a recipe for disaster. There has to be that soft side, no matter what genre you write in, that speaks to the humanity of others. I guess it's probably for the best that the hubs refuses to write his ideas and instead pawns them off on me.

    Anyway, just my tuppence. :)

  4. PS - Every time I see that cupcake it gets more awesome. Just look at the blood color gradient. Amazing!

  5. I would describe myself as a very driven romantic. My wife is even moreso. Her art makes her much more money than mine does, though.

  6. Thing is, you're either doing it for the writing, or the money (or fame or whatever)

    And if you're doing it for the writing you are by definition a romantic, in the old fashioned sense. Because you're chasing after perfection you'll never obtain, and even knowing that doesn't make you quit the chase. What could be more idealistic than that?